Let’s Rant About Mega Toilet Paper Rolls

mega toilet paper


Here at Happy Simple Living, we are not afraid to flush out the big, pressing issues that face our nation. Which is why we have bravely plunged into the issue of mega toilet paper rolls.

Most major t.p. manufacturers now sell Colossus Jumbo Magnum rolls containing 4 TIMES!! the sheets of a regular roll. (As we all know, today’s ‘regular roll’ contains approximately 14 squares.)

Is this claim true? Do we consumers really want these fatter rolls — even though they no longer fit in the holders?

My friends, you are an intelligent bunch. When you see those packages, do you feel happy because you’re getting an even greater value in your toilet paper purchases?

Or do you feel cranky because you’re paying more bucks for fewer squares?

Sometimes I wonder if toilet paper manufacturers think our brains are full of ultra soft cotton.


cotton headed ninny


This is definitely a #FirstWorldProblem, but these Hercules-sized rolls do not fit in any of our holders. Furthermore, our neighborhood grocery store has stopped selling normal rolls, and now only sells Colossus Jumbo Magnum rolls.

Guaranteed To Fit

I recently purchased several packages of Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong, as the company’s wood and fiber sourcing practices are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Sustainability was part of my decision, but the other reason was this compelling promise printed on the package: “Guaranteed to fit your roll holder or your money back.”

Bolstered with confidence, I bought the package and breathlessly ran upstairs to install a roll. The funny thing is that there is at least an inch of space on either side of the roll, but I had to use a shoehorn to get the roll in the holder.

Once in, it would not turn. For obvious reasons, this presents a problem. As you can see, the top of the roll is wedged in the holder:


Mega toilet paper roll


In the interest of getting a handle on this issue, I decided to take advantage of the company’s money-back guarantee.

When I visited the site, however, I was disappointed to see not an offer for cash back, but an offer for a free “Roll Extender.”



Quilted Northern Roll Extender Offer | Happy Simple Living blog


The value of the free roll extender was “$2 – $3” according to the site.

Is it me, or does this whole Mega Roll Extender thing sound just a little naughty?


Quilted Northern roll extender


Clearly, if I wanted to actually use my new Quilted Northern toilet paper, I would have to get their gadget. The instructions required me to write “the reason you would like a roll extender” on a piece of paper.

This is excellent researching strategy from the Quilted Northern Quality Control team. Because, what could possibly be the reason why a person would need an extender?

Could it be that the #%$@&! Colossus Jumbo Magnum toilet paper roll doesn’t fit in the holder??

<<deep breath, deep cleansing breath, inhale peace, exhale stress>>

Anyhow, I dutifully assembled my proof of purchase, receipt, and required explanatory letter, and sent it off.


Letter to Quilted Northern


Then the waiting began. Nine weeks passed, with no sign of my Roll Extender. I felt like Ralphie from The Christmas Story, anxiously waiting for my Ovaltine decoder ring to arrive.

After so many disappointing daily trips to the mailbox, I wondered if the Quilted Northern people had forgotten about me and my Roll Extender.

Looking for Answers

I’ve learned that sometimes big brands’ social media managers will reply quickly to customer service requests, so I decided to reach out and touch someone via the Quilted Northern Facebook page.

Before I could send my message, though, I had to officially “Like” the page. The header photo features an enviable prototype toilet paper holder (probably designed by Elon Musk) that perfectly fits the Quilted Northern mega roll. Jealous!!


quilted northern Facebook page


The moment I clicked the “Like” button, Facebook helpfully alerted all of my friends and family members about my new passion.


Parody Facebook toilet paper page


Feeling “heady,” I sent off my inquiry. Sure enough, the social media manager responded quickly. (It pays to be the Facebook fan of a t.p. company.) The note read: “Hi Eliza, thanks for contacting us. Let us reach some of our internal teams and see what we can do. We will get back to you soon!”

Not only was I getting personal service, but the INTERNAL TEAMS of Quilted Northern were getting involved. Talk about having friends in lofty places!

A few days later, the package I had been awaiting for ten weeks finally arrived with a nice letter and my very own $2-$3 value Roll Extender.


Letter from Quilted Northern


I could hardly wait to try it!

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The Roll Extender worked.


Toilet paper roll extender


We could now actually turn my Mega Toilet Paper roll, thus providing that all-important access to the tissue.

The only downside? The Roll Extender is white plastic, which doesn’t match the chrome holder, and it has the Quilted Northern logo printed in the “gap” area. With a roll in place, you see the letters “TED” and “ERN.”

Do we choose aesthetics or utility, my friends? This is a conundrum that has plagued mankind through the ages, from the design of stone tools and wooden teeth to Quonset huts and men’s sandals.

How About You?

Do you love or loathe this new trend? Do you long for the good old days of Double Rolls? Or do the Mega Grande Big Honkin’ toilet tissue rolls fit just fine in your holders?

How long will it be before a rogue manufacturer offers a roll with 5 times the sheets of a regular roll?

Also:  Do you think that perhaps I need to take up a new hobby?

I’d love to hear from you, and together we’ll get to the “bottom” of this important tissue issue.


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

Let’s Rant About Mega Toilet Paper Rolls

  • Chandra

    I literally just heard a new advertisement – Charmin will now be selling a “Super Mega Roll”. Supposedly it’s 6 rolls in one! I’ve always hated the “mega” rolls, and this put it over the top for me. That’s actually how I found this little blog of yours – well done. But hopefully they can get their paper under control, because how much bigger can they get? Soon we’ll be buying toilet paper the size of full tires!

    • Chandra, I laughed so hard at your description of a tire-sized roll of toilet paper. Thank you for the important update. I just shared it on Facebook to see what our readers think. When will the supersizing end?

  • Donald Marsden

    You got it just right. We just installed beautiful new tile in our bathroom and cannot find a tile toilet paper dispenser that will hold these monster toilet paper rolls. My wife bought some larger metal dispensers, but they will look stupid on the beautiful tile wall, so I am looking for an alternative. Donald Marsden

  • Cindy Bankes

    And I thought it was only me having trouble turning the toilet paper. We are currently remodeling our master bath and there was quite a “to do” last night putting together the new toilet paper holder and holding it by hand against a wall while have a new roll inserted to see if it would turn. Seems like it might work. So maybe the new ones are bigger and this one isn’t recessed. But I am a little disappointed by the fact that you just dropped the ball when mentioning that the roll is no longer as wide as it used to be. I’ve noticed that too, and it drives me crazy. All of that wasted space on the sides, and it’s overflowing against the wall. Oh well.

  • SouthernKid

    Ok. I don’t care who you are that was funny and informative! You are good at addressing a problem with humor MS Cross and I laughed all through it and got angry at the TP Manufacturers as well! Are we able to purchase these roll extenders in the box stores? or do we have do subject ourselves to the naked light bulb questionnaire like as you had to do? Thanks for taking them to task!

  • BriGuy

    Since i’ve been stealing all of my toilet paper from gas stations and office buildings for years i hardly noticed the change in grocer stock. Upon inspection the “mega rolls” dont seem all that big to me. They barely take up space on top of my purloined 2’x2’paper discuss. Stop wasting your time buying toilet paper monthly, and see what it’s like to “shop” for TP anually for a household of 6.

  • Kelle

    I cannot agree with you more. The roll sizes have gotten out of hand! I can’t even find a paper reserve tower that will accommodate the new 4=1 mega rolls. The world of toilet paper was perfect as the triple roll. I can’t find the 3:1 anywhere. The industry decision to push to the 4:1 size is just poo poo!!!

  • Elizabeth Rhys

    I buy the mega rolls of Charmin Ultra Stong if it is a good value. I don’t just automatically by bigger rolls. I always compare the prices. B/c prices change, sometimes the bigger rolls are currently a better deal, and sometimes the regular rolls are a better deal. I have never had a problem with toilet paper rolls of any size fitting the toilet paper holder (ceramic in the tile wall that’s been there at least 40 years).

  • You crack me up! As a person who is too cheap to buy anything but store brand toilet paper, I have yet to encounter the mega-roll phenomenon. My most recent TP crisis was that I accidentally grabbed what looked like a great deal, only to discover that I had inadvertently come home with a 12 pack of SINGLE ply toilet paper! The horror!

    Anyhow, the extender does look a bit cheezy – I’ve never used the stuff, but I think they make special spray paint designed to be used on plastic. Maybe there’s a silver color? Probably defeats the purpose of saving by buying the mega rolls though…

  • Mom

    You are making me proud, you activist you!

  • Susan H.

    It bothers me even more to know that I have to pay a lot more for that certain kind of toilet paper that doesn’t hurt the bare necessities. A catalog was used years ago, I know I should feel blessed. I think the manufacturers should at least meet a standard softness scale or softness rating! And if they feel they need to slim the roll from being two inches wider and two inches taller, I will happily set it on the floor.

  • Becky

    I think it is important that you voice your opinion to manufacturers. I’m sure someone thought of aesthetics, but decided it might cost them too much to offer something different or options. So many companies do the “new and improved” to only have smaller packaging so they can keep the same retail price, but they are selling a smaller amount. And as far as “new and improved,” well how many different ways is there to pluck that chicken?

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